Promising licensed poppy husk vends and permission to distill hooch if the Congress formed the government in Punjab has cost the party’s Tarn Taran district president Sukhpal Singh Bhullar dear, with PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa issuing him a show cause notice for deviating from the party’s stand on narcotics.
Bhullar had, in a rally addressed by Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh, put forward this demand. Sources in PPCC said strong action is likely against Bhullar in the days to come. He is a close Capt aide.
Bajwa told The Indian Express that the Congress has always been committed to eradication of drugs as a policy. He added that Bhullar had been asked to show cause within seven days as to why action should not be taken against him for asking people to endorse his promise of opening poppy husk vends.
“We have been promising people of Punjab that we will remove drugs completely if we are voted to power. We will enact special laws against offences related to drugs and set up special courts,” Bajwa said.
He also made it clear that Bhullar’s views were in his individual capacity and had nothing to do with the party. Sources said Bajwa had complained to the high command with news clippings of Bhullar’s statement. With the high command’s approval, he served Bhullar the showcause notice.
Bhullar, however, told The Indian Express that his statement was distorted by a TV channel, alleged to be associated with the ruling party. “I did not say what is being projected. I just said poppy husk vends should be considered for those who are on hard drugs and are dying of withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to afford them. I was misquoted,” he said.
In a statement issued later, Bhullar said the only way to rid the state of heroin is to legalise it. “The US did this to stop the crime caused by marijuana by legalising it. In Punjab youth are dying because of all the impurities mixed with the drug they procure illegally that are really harmful which causes the victims heart to collapse. The only way Punjab will be back to normal is by legalising a weaker derivative,” his statement reads.